Queens Vocational gains first crown

After winning the Queens North-B division, Queens Vocational Coach Robert Schimenz set a modest goal heading into the postseason. On the 10-year anniversary of taking over the program, Schimenz targeted a first round victory.
Well, he got more than he ever dreamed of. The Tigers soared far beyond that benchmark for playoff success, defeating Jane Addams, 9-0, at KeySpan Park in Coney Island Friday to capture the PSAL ‘B’ Title.
“I’m stunned,” Schimenz said after Queens Vocational won their first city championship. “We had made the playoffs the past six years but hadn’t won a game. After each win [this postseason] we never realized what was going to happen.”
Schimenz’s uncertainty transferred over to the title game. Ninth-seeded Queens Vocational produced only four base runners in the first five innings against Jimmy Bermudez, the No. 2 man in the Jane Addams rotation.
He struck out four in a row heading into the top of the sixth, adding to an already impressive postseason that included three wins and a 1.15 ERA prior to the title game.
Queens Vocational’s Elbel Estella turned that around. The senior second baseman broke up Bermudez’s streak with a single to start the sixth and came around to score the game’s first run. Estrella stole second and advanced to third on pitcher Diomede Gonzalez’s fly ball. He barely beat the throw but the ball bounced away, allowing him to score.
“I soon as I saw the line drive I thought to tag up,” Estella said. “As I was going to third the first thing that came to mind was ‘go home.’ I thought there definitely was going to be a play but I knew he wasn’t going to catch me.”
The Tigers built on their miniscule lead with a patchwork offensive explosion in the seventh to shatter the pitching duel. Four hits - only one of which wasn’t a single - two walks, two hit batsmen, and an error produced an eight-run inning that lasted 45 minutes and featured three different pitchers.
“I knew that one run could make a difference in the game,” said Gonzalez, who allowed four hits and five walks, but pitched around trouble throughout. “That one run destroyed [Jane Addams].”
Afterward, Schimenz diverted all personal credit to his players, especially his seniors Estella, Gonzalez and catcher Danny Medina.
“[Estrella] has so much baseball sense and pent-up emotion,” Schimenz said. “Someone said that was great that you sent him. Sent him? I don’t send him, and I don’t send [Gonzalez] and Medina. Those three guys know what to do. I facilitate, they run the team. They do the game plans, practice plans. I’m just kind of there to say ‘keep working hard.’ ”

More from Around New York